Exploring Snowdonia

Bets-y-Coed

Snowdonia National Park is located in the north west of Wales and was, depending on where you go, around a 50 minute drive from our base in Moelfre in Anglesey. Snowdonia is home to Mount Snowdon the highest peak of Wales (and higher than Scafell Pike in England) and as such offers an abundance of spectacular scenery. During our stay we took a couple of trips back across the Menai Strait and into the mountains.

On the path to Aber Falls (with Jess the miniature sausage dog leading the way)

Aber Falls

We visited Aber Falls, and were fortunate to find two car spaces in the small car park at the beginning of the trail to the falls. We had to pay £5 in coins only as there was no option to pay by card, but the entrance was free so a small price to pay! (Unless you are really ‘careful’ with your cash and park a mile or so up in the nearby village).

While the ‘Visit Snowdonia’ site mentions the difficulty of the path unless you have mobility issues it is easy for the average person. The trail to the waterfall is only about a mile and there are no steep or challenging sections. Apparently the trail gets busy during popular times so it might be best to avoid weekends!

Volcanic rock formations

The weather was cloudy and drizzly however this added to the drama of being in the Carneddau mountains in Snowdonia!

The moss surrounding the stream gave an enchanted feel to the trail. If you are lucky you may see ravens, buzzards and peregrines flying above you.

The star attraction, Aber Falls (or Welsh name Rhaeadr Fawr) waterfall is nearly 40 meters high and is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Wales.

From Aber Falls we re-traced our steps back for a mile to the car park and by now it was raining so we headed back across to Anglesey.

Another day another waterfall…

Snowdonia National Park Glyder Fawr range

Another day we headed back into Snowdonia drove through the spectacular scenery past Snowdon on the right and Glyder Fawr on the left. The sun was streaming through a break in the clouds as we drove along the A4086 through Pen-y-Pass which lit up the foothills of Snowdon but unfortunately I was unable to take any photos due to the best of the scenery being on driver Chris’s side!

Snowdonia National Park

So I made do with a shot out of the front window!

Car park for the Watkin Path

Watkin Path

We were heading for the start of the Watkin Path, which is the most challenging of 6 different routes to the summit of Snowdon. On this occasion we were not there to climb Snowdon, the purpose of our visit was to walk to another picturesque waterfall. The Watkin Path is said to also be the most scenic!

We parked in a car park with postcode LL55 4NR at the side of the A498 and crossed the road to the start of the Watkin trail.

Lower section of the Watkin trail

The trail was easy to follow and several other people were also making their way upwards!

It didn’t take long before magnificent views opened up around us.

After a mile or so along the Watkin Path, the waterfall came into view.

Scenic lunch stop

Which provided the perfect opportunity for a scenic lunch stop.

The waterfall cascaded from higher up the mountain which meant we had to walk across the above stone bridge… with nothing to hold onto… I wasn’t a fan…

With the help of Chris we crossed the stone ‘hand-rail-less’ bridge and climbed a little further before making the decision to return to the cars and find a pub!

Beddgelert

Beddgelert

We drove for about 10 minutes to Beddgelert which is an attractive village in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. In April 2018 as part of a small group, I did a 3 hour circular walk from Beddgelert so this was somewhere I was familiar with. The 7 of us enjoyed a post-waterfall drink in the Saracens Head, a lovely large character pub.

Llyn Ogwen

Bets-y-Coed

Our time in Anglesey had come to an end and Chris and I had a gorgeous sunny drive home from Anglesey. We had already planned to stop in Bets-y-Coed for brunch as a final little sparkle of enjoyment before our holiday truly ended.

Llyn Ogwen

We drove through Snowdonia National Park along the A5 past Llyn Ogwen, a lake separating the two mountain ranges of the Carneddau and the Glyderau. Back in March 2015 Chris and I had previously parked along there to begin an amazing (and slightly scary) climb which took in Bristly Ridge and the Cantilever Stone when we climbed Glyder Fach, the second highest mountain in Glyderau. 

We had twice before stayed in the Bryn Tyrch Inn, a gorgeous and highly recommended hotel in Capel Curig, not far from Llyn Ogwen. As we drove towards Bets-y-Coed we began to plan another future trip there…

Bets-y-Coed

Bets-y-Coed is a picturesque Snowdonia village and is popular with tourists. It is surrounded by mountains, forests, rivers and waterfalls and so an ideal base for an action packed weekend!

Bets-y-Coed

We enjoyed a delicious full vegetarian (me) and vegan (Chris) breakfast with Yvey, Matt and Russ in the Alpine Coffee Shop at Bets-y-Coed station before heading off home, the perfect end to our brilliant week away!

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